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How to live in Pattaya in Thailand on ten dollars a day or less

Updated on September 13, 2017

Cheap living in Pattaya

The average visitor to Pattaya may wonder why anyone would want to live in Pattaya, Thailand on less than ten dollars a day. This is because your average visitor is a holidaymaker on a package tour booked into thickly carpeted plush luxury hotel where you could not get two coffees for ten dollars let alone live for a day.

Pattaya is a big city not everbody is the same boat. There is a big mix of people living in Pattaya. There is the luxury hotel and condominium crowd then there are the ordinary people. Escapees from the cold grey of Europe. The not so rich living amongst the less wealthy Thai people.

Pattaya really does have something for everyone. You could eat a different ethnic dish every day for a month without repeating the country or venue. You could drink in five different bars a night for a year and never enter the same one twice. Along the way you could spend an awful lot of money and return home penniless in no time at all.

This guide is for that group of people who will be staying in Pattaya for a month or so on a limited budget and want to keep some cash aside for other pursuits.

I am assuming

I am assuming that if you are staying in Pattaya that you do have somewhere to live. Whereas there is cheap budget accommodation available knowing you will be away for a month or more in the same location means planning. There are some very good cheap deals in really nice places if you book in advance.

Then again you may be staying in a friends Condo or with your girlfriend or boyfriend.

Nowhere to stay? Don't give up. Check out Couchsurfing or look at some of the other links in How To Travel Cheaply in Southeast Asia.

Ten Dollars is...

The currency exchange rate at the present time is going up and down like a Yo Yo. For the sake of this hub I am going to say that ten US Dollars can be exchanged for 354 Thai Baht which is a generous amount. 


Eat an English Breakfast. Most establishments which serve breakfasts are open 24 hours a day so breakfast as a meal can easily fit in with a holiday lifestyle. Take a look at the Pattaya Breakfast Review. You will be able to choose a decent and quite substantial meal for 100 Baht or less. Look also on How to Live in Pattaya for Five Dollars a Day or Less to extend your choice widely.

The Remainder of the Day

For me two meals a day are enough and frequently I will manage on just the one plus a snack or two.

There are a number of places in Pattaya which serve 99 Baht 'Special' meals from lunchtime onwards. These are tremendous value for money. Okay you don't get a drink with it but they will fill you up.

So with Breakfast and a second 99 Baht meal you have spent only 199 Baht which leaves you with 155 Baht. Your choice really. You could have three beers in some bars for that or you could fit in another 100 Baht meal somewhere else and have one beer.

The meals below are all daily 'Specials' and many places will do them. There is usually something different on offer every day of the week. Some may charge up to or around 130 Baht but are still very good value for money for Western Food.

Mince, Mash, Peas, Bread and Butter - 99 Baht

Fish, Chips, Peas, Tartare Sauce - 99 Baht

Mince, Mash, Peas, Big Yorkshire Pudding - 99 Baht

Fried Liver, Bacon, Onions, Peas and Chips - 99 Baht


If you are going to stick with the 199 Baht a day food regime you will have a bit of cash to play with. If you are going to have a beer be a little careful. Happy hour is always a good bet. 50 Baht for a Heineken....but this may rise to 120 in the unhappy hours.

If you choose your venue properly you may well be able to watch a movie or a football match. There is free pool in some places too. You may even be able to have one drink in a Go Go bar and come out with change in you pocket. Mind you I would feel a bit of a cad if I had not bought a girl a drink too...and 'ladies drinks' can be a little pricey at times.

Then there is the free entertainment 'people watching'. Take a look at my hub Pattaya on Five Dollars a Day or Less for the best venues.

Further Advice

For further advice on managing on a budget in Pattaya please take a look at The Backpacker Guide to Pattaya in Thailand and How To Travel Cheaply In South East Asia.


Submit a Comment
  • condoinpattaya profile image

    Condos in Pattaya 

    5 years ago from Pattaya

    I Love Pattaya

  • Photo Puzzle Guy profile image

    Photo Puzzle Guy 

    9 years ago

    I have lived now in Naklua which is just outside of Pattaya for 6 years and must say that it is the idea location for me and my family. I do run my own small manufacturing business here so I am not retired or a long term tourist. The great thing about Pattaya is that you can find pretty much everything you can find in Bangkok here. Great supermarkets, restaurants, pubs, cinema, international school, etc but without the traffic (well unless its a public holiday) and polution of Bangkok. It's also only 1.5hrs to the airport which is important for me. Location wise it is perfect for my family as beaches are close by and house rent is relatively low. Nowhere is perfect but I have enjoyed my last 6 years here.

  • Peter Dickinson profile imageAUTHOR

    Peter Dickinson 

    10 years ago from South East Asia

    liswilliams - Thank you. Check out some of my other hubs on Thailand and South East Asia. More useful advice.

  • liswilliams profile image


    10 years ago from South Africa

    I'm saving up for Thailand so you are an excellent resource, Thanks Peter

  • profile image

    Khun Mmaaarrrkkk 

    11 years ago

    Design a house - check out the internet in thailand before you make your move for good. Still no broadband yet

  • Peter Dickinson profile imageAUTHOR

    Peter Dickinson 

    11 years ago from South East Asia

    design a house - You are so right. One extra bit of advice though is that you travel around the whole of Thailand first and make Pattaya your last stop. Pattaya gets a hold of you and you never want to go anywhere else. That said there are cheaper places to live in Asia...and Thailand for that matter, than Pattaya.

  • design a house profile image

    design a house 

    11 years ago from Seattle, WA

    This is great advice. I'm seriously considering moving to Thailand for a while. I work online and although I don't make much money, I scrape by. But why should I be poor in America when I can live a decent middle-class life in Thailand.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

  • profile image


    12 years ago

    Been living in both Chiangmai and Pattaya last 16 years. For Thais-- Steak Buffets try: BAAN KWAN RUAN RESTAURANT OPEN AIR on 3rd road going towards Pattaya North Rd on the right. ex Thai female Hotel chef--- great value 99baht includes coffee & duo on guitars playing relaxing music.

    Also a new 99baht all you can eat in Soi Diana??US owner has to trun people away?? I like value for money too and have tried many good places with my Thai wife. They're out there--you just have to find them.

  • profile image


    12 years ago

    Hi Peter I have been to thailand and pattya many times and love it. I have 11 year old daughter who has been one with me last year and is booked to go with me thins Christmas. You can be anywhere in the world and have pedo's robbers and drug addicts. But I also feel safer there than London and Manchester, so don't anyone be buy of its great.

  • sarahtrudeau profile image


    12 years ago from India

    You've inspired me to live cheaply when I go back to Thailand. Thanks, I needed that ;)

  • Peter Dickinson profile imageAUTHOR

    Peter Dickinson 

    12 years ago from South East Asia

    Adrian - you are so right. Read my Hub about Pattaya on five dollars a day or less.

  • profile image


    12 years ago

    You can get a tasty meal from the road side bbq stands. I got three chicken shish kebabs for 20 baht. There are plenty of other options from them too. Could go even cheaper if you wanted to.

  • tgpmaker profile image


    12 years ago from BANGKOK

    great, view point, i love pattaya too. :)

  • Peter Dickinson profile imageAUTHOR

    Peter Dickinson 

    12 years ago from South East Asia

    gamble244 - lucky guy, business and house in Thailand.

    I agree Pattaya is safer than the big cities than the UK. I can go anywhere without a worry....all I need is common sense.

  • profile image


    12 years ago

    ive been coming in and out of pattaya since the age of 9, been a great laugh, i'm now 16, renting my own house, got my own business and its going great in thailand. Not a day goes past where i feel "un-safe", atleast round here you dont have little teenagers running around trying to kill eachother like back in the uk. But i guess there are the "rough parts" of pattaya.

  • profile image

    Peter Dickinson 

    12 years ago

    laringo - yes you are right. I have catered largely to a Western taste in the Ten Dollar a day Hub. For Thai food take a look at the Five Dollars a day. Thanks for the comment.

  • laringo profile image


    12 years ago from From Berkeley, California.

    Great Hub, but where's the Thai food. I like the spicy traditional foods. Isn't it less expensive than the meals you've shown?

  • profile image


    12 years ago

    The elephant's (yes, with the apostrophe) art in Thailand is worth a look. I probably won't be going to Pattaya anytime too soon but it is nice to hear about the easy-going lifestyle there!

  • Peter Dickinson profile imageAUTHOR

    Peter Dickinson 

    12 years ago from South East Asia

    Londongirl, cindyvine, Jerilee Wei - Thanks for the comments. Sorry to hear of your experiences in Pattaya Jerilee but I have never felt unsafe there (safer to me than London, Manchester or Sheffield) and I have yet to see anyone using drugs in the 3 years I have been in and out. I believe it is a great place for all, including families. And Cindyvine I have been all over Thailand...true enough there are more beautiful places but Pattaya is a big city. In the little corner I stay I live with Thais, working girls all, lovely people who I number amongst my closest friends.

    I have yet to see a paedophile in Pattaya. Nor did I see one in Vietnam, Cambodia or Laos where they are all meant to hang out. What is more I have never met anyone who has seen one. Cindyvine I know you have already read my hub but I post the link again for the interest of the others.

    True enough I would not like to end my days in Pattaya (I am not sure where I would so I suppose Pattaya is as good as anywhere) but it really has something to offer everyone. Right now it is where I hang my hat. It is cheaper than Bangkok or Chiang Mai and friendlier than Ranong. I can't actually think of something that is bad about the place....but then, yes I am a man.

    I reckon we will just have to agree to disagree on this one.

  • Jerilee Wei profile image

    Jerilee Wei 

    12 years ago from United States

    Great viewpoint on the cheap travel, however, I'm with cindyvine on this one. From a woman's point of view, it was a lot like many places in Thailand, not so safe, not so nice unless you were a guy. Maybe it's because we were robbed, and my son had a hyperdermic needle discarded by some drug user get lodged in the sole of his shoe (and caused months of anguished worry while getting tests for everything from HIV to other nice diseases).

  • cindyvine profile image

    Cindy Vine 

    12 years ago from Cape Town

    Arrrrrrrrrrggggghhhh Peter! There are far far nicer places to go in Thailand than Pattaya! Pattaya is soooooo seedy, all those old European men and the young Thai prostitutes, and paedophiles. Maybe for a single guy it's a good destination, but if you have a family DON'T GO THERE!

  • LondonGirl profile image


    12 years ago from London

    fantastic hub! My sister's been to Thailan scuba and free diving, and is going again this year, I've forwarded it to her.


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